After a courageous 10 year fight battling Carcinoid Cancer, Sunny Carney, of Plum, passed peacefully on Saturday, November 3. She was married to her devoted husband, Mark; and was a loving mother to Austen, Logan and Nolan; daughter of Patricia Jennings and the late James J. Jennings; daughter-in-law of Dale and Dottie Carney; sister of Judy Phillips (Ray Jr.), Lynn Pesta (Teddy), Michael Jennings (Vicki Lynn), James Jennings (Sue), Joseph Jennings (Elizabeth), Sheila Fortes (Jim); sister-in-law of Craig Carney (Julia). She is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews, and was a true friend and inspiration to many.
In addition to being an inspiration to family and friends Sunny inspired carcinoid cancer patients across the globe through her blog, and then her book "The Sunny Side of Cancer. She spoke at numerous cancer events locally sharing stories of her journey which led her from Basel, Switzerland to all of the top Carcinoid Cancer specialists here in the states. She was an advocate for better diagnosis of the disease and for insurance coverage of treatments. She fought with grace and dignity, never letting the pain inside challenge her faith or diminish her love for life.
Memorials may be made to "Carney Family Fund", c/o S&T Bank, 2190 Hulton Road, Verona, PA 15147.
Friends received Monday 7-9 p.m. and Tuesday 3-8 p.m. at Unity Community Church, 215 Unity Center Road, Plum, PA 15239.
Funeral Services will be held on Wednesday at 11 a.m. in Unity Community Church with Rev. Frank Deluce officiating. Arrangements entrusted to CHARLES W. TRENZ FUNERAL HOME, INC.
VIEW GUEST BOOK Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

After over a decade of suffering from Carcinoid Cancer, Sunny Jennings Carney has decided to fight back. She has currently undergone two proven treatments in Basel, Switzerland and is planning to return for two more. She is also planning on going to Houston, Texas for a six month period to undergo experimental treatments that look promising but are not FDA approved. She has exhausted all the FDA approved treatments here in the United States and will not accept that this is all there is for her. She has dedicated her fight to help others understand this rare cancer and to find successful treatments in the United States. Her strong faith in God and will to never quit has turned a 6 month life expectancy to over two years presently.

Below is an entry that was written by Sunny's husband Mark when she had her third bout. To become updated on her journey please enjoy her posts.

Please check back for updates and event information.

Sunny Carney Carcinoid Cancer Fund
C/o S & T Bank
2190 Hulton Road
Verona, PA 15147

Sunny's husband Mark tells their story...

A mother of three boys, a daughter, the baby sister to a large family, an aunt, a godmother to several, a trusted friend, an outreach volunteer, a business owner and my wife. Sunny Carney lives up to her name every time someone speaks to her; she is beautiful both in and out. She has been my biggest motivator, my rock and my inspiration in tough times, my biggest fan in good times, and most importantly my best friend. Told 14 years ago that having children may not be part of our future because of ovarian cancer, she kept the faith, and is a wonderful mother to our three sons- Austen, Logan, and Nolan. She is always ensuring that they know the Lord, love of life, kindness to others, hard work, and occasionally when to "shape up".

Her boundless energy, healthy lifestyle and positive attitude are infectious. She has served as president of our children’s PTA, organized committees that benefit those who are less fortunate in the community and led drives for those who have been caught up in unfortunate situations. She has done so much for others, usually without letting anyone ever know, I could not begin to list them. Her strong faith in God and modest upbringing has given her a sense of giving that only she can explain. When she successfully started her own photography business, she also started a non-profit division photographing family portraits for area families fighting cancer. Her friends say she is amazing and she simply shakes her head and wonders what all of the fuss is about.

Her mother, sisters, brothers and large extended family will tell you she is the one you can count on to lend an ear when needed and never judge. She was raised by her loving mother and father who was the warden of the Allegheny County Jail and actually spent most of her childhood in the residence connected to the jail. At a young age she witnessed more of life’s tragedies and obstacles through her neighbors, the prisoners, than most of us can imagine.

Although all of the aforementioned is remarkable it is not what makes her truly special. Sunny is a two time cancer survivor and now is currently fighting for a third time. After beating ovarian carcinoid cancer and undergoing serious surgery for carcinoid tumors in her right lung just three years ago, the carcinoid tumors returned in her lymph nodes, liver and bones. The size and proliferation throughout the liver of these tumors mandates immediate chemotherapy in four treatments over the next few months as well as monthly octreotide treatments. These painful treatments will hopefully stop the growth but are not a cure. There are numerous tumors in her spine, her skull, her hip, her leg, and her shoulder...all in the bones and she will wait on potential radiation to fight those.

What my wife has is Carcinoid Cancer Syndrome, an endocrine disease which is rare and spreads from organ to organ. As of right now the only known treatment for remission is administered by renowned clinics in Europe. However the treatment is not covered by our insurance. Our doctors have encouraged us to start raising money and matching grants could follow. Her lead oncologist strongly believes that Sunny would be a prime candidate to be a voice to get the message out regarding carcinoid cancer syndrome, bring this treatment to the United States and encourage approval from the FDA. Without this treatment, the tumors most likely will continue to metastasize in other organs and her fight will be ongoing. Sunny has set up The Sunny Carney Carcinoid Cancer Fund to support her treatments. She believes that once she beats this cancer she can make a difference to others also suffering from Carcinoid Cancer.

Mark A. Carney

Sunny Carney Carcinoid Cancer Fund
C/o S & T Bank
2190 Hulton Road
Verona, PA 15147

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Humble Thanks...Footprints Can Go Two Ways...

Sunshine....I LOVE U are you toots?  Dumb question but felt like asking feels normal...its been so long since I have asked the question...How are you feeling?  and no matter how bad you were hurting...or crappy you always responded the same at first.."I am fine...I will be OK..."....and then I had to repeat the question and "peel the onion" so to speak to get to the real gyst of what was going on with you at that moment....Its funny even now how you felt the need to protect me from what you were dealing were amazing....from this past summer when your legs and feet began to swell and the stairs and bathroom visits got more difficult as I was literally lifting you were telling me to not get worked up that you just needed to get a new medicine or shift positions in bed or whatever...the strength that you faced each day with we both knew came from your even stronger faith in Him....and as you relied resilently on that faith you didn't stop caring for others....whether trying to ease my angst...the boys or your mom or family...or helping other neighbors with health questions...shooting senior pictures of a niece even though it physically pushed you to the responding to emails from your "cancer posse" just doing things that I will probably never learn laid those concrete footprints...heading in a direction away from yourself and by extension away from this house....I want to take time tonight in our little talk to thank some people that have taken it upon themselves to make concrete footprints of their own...except their steps lead them back to this house and to the boys and I....they are blessing us....

Footprints coming and and fro...thats what I have learned...Like Hebrews where in Ch 13 Paul encourages us to "Keep on loving each other as brothers.  Do not forget to entertain strangers , for by so doing some have people have entertained angels without knowing it."  And later in the same Chapter he extolls us "And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased."  Pretty straight forward in a way but lets look a little closer at what he is really saying....twice in different parts of this closing Chapter in the book of Hebrews he reminds us to not he recognizes that it doesn't always come naturally to everyone to constantly help do love each other as brothers....why not?  Well life gets hard at times...and its easy to lose focus on others when we are wrapped up in our own problems and challenges....thats why....Do Not actual call to refocus...why else would he need to say it and more than once?....That is exactly what you did by refusing to let yourself get bogged down in your own issues and pain at the cost of missing the opportunity to "ENTERTAIN AN ANGEL WITHOUT KNOWING IT...." always told me how helping others in your hardest of days was therapy...not relief....but weren't looking for a way out...just a way to give of yourself...because I think you knew that your time here may be a little shorter than most....and you weren't going to waste time...Thanks....Lesson Received....

So since you made those steps...painstakingly laying them in Concrete Reenforced with Love...we have been so blessed by others who are walking beside them but in the opposite see where they originated from...and you know I always said what comes around goes around...and in the three months plus since you got your wings we have had many people follow that trail you made and led right back to us....Thanks....and we get so many prayers....Thanks....and the dinners still come even in the midst of this crappy winter....Thanks to all who have signed up and saved my kids from Take out and Eggs and Daddy Surprise meals....Thanks to Marlene for continuing to spearhead the list...Thanks to Viola...not just for helping push you years ago to what was really going on in your body...but for taking care of the boys aches and joint pains...Thanks to Vicki who ensured all of the thank you's got out....Thanks to Michael for his generosity...Thanks to all of the boys teammates and friends who have kept their minds off things so to speak and help them cope with being without you....Thanks to the Band Boosters who made it possible for Logan to have a special trip to look forward to....Thanks to all of the teachers and adminstration of our Plum schools who have looked after our boys and been a positive influence....Thanks to their coaches who did the same and gave the support much needed....and yet held them accountable....Thanks to the Trenz's ...nuff said as I rub the fingerprints of yours hanging from my neck....Thanks to the Plum employees for their generous donation and the same for Mo's office...who knew casual Fridays could be worth so much....Thanks to Sue and the team at our favorite restaurant for just being there....a lot....Thanks to Jim and Tim and Sean who make owning two SUVs with high miles less financially painful and stressful than anyone has a right to expect....Thanks to all our friends who have continued to show up at "Carney" parties here at the house...Thanks to Pastor Frank for continuing to make sure I don't stray off the path too far and the same for Roz....Thanks to Jackie for her help on the legal side and for the wonderful team at S and T down the street who always make sure I don't bounce anything...Thanks to Suzie D who put up with delayed booster payments...Thanks to all (especially Big O  and Pat K) for the rides home from all of the practices when I had a conflict with other boys...Thanks to Sandy and Michele for making Christmas decorations magically appear and then disappear....Thanks to all who continue to reach out just to check in on us....we never get tired of that...whether or friends...Thanks...and most especially Thanks to the Big Guy above who has blessed this house through these tough times...

If I forgot someone or something (and I am sure I must have)....please know that your footprints are still there....that your efforts to help were not unnoticed or unappreciated....we are humbly grateful and thankful for all of this communitys support....luv ya guys....

Thanks for lending me your ear Sunny.....